The New England Patriots made it clear they plan on keeping tight end Rob Gronkowski around for a while after handing him a 4 million dollar check Tuesday.The Pats have a 4-year option for Gronk but needed to pay him a 10 million dollar roster bonus at the end of the season to kick in the extension. The 4 million he got came from that bonus money which indicates the team plans on keeping him for another 4 years or completely re-work his deal.

Gronk would have become a free agent at the end of the season if the Pats did not give him the bonus. They still need to pay the other 6 million at the end of the season or before to stop him from getting on the open market.

The move also reduces their payroll flexibility for this season as 2 million of the accelerated bonus will count against this year's salary cap.

The money should not affect the gregarious Gronkowski as he revealed in his new book that he has yet to spend a single penny paid to him by the Patriots as he has been able to live entirely on his endorsement deals.